Give To The Max Day Minnesota – November 12, 2015

Posted November 13, 2015 by Premier Disability Services, LLC® gtothemax

Give to the Max day is a 24-hour online fundraising event.  All MN Nonprofits participate in the event.  Give MN then distributes your donation to the participant of your choice.  CAMP ODAYIN, a camp for children with heart disease was chosen to receive our donation on Give to the Max Day.  This year’s donation was inspired by an employee of Premier Disability Services, who suffers from heart disease.



In 1995 is when my journey began. I was born at Unity Hospital around 6 in the morning, and everyone was so excited to meet me. However everyone was also concerned because I wasn’t supposed to be born until the end of April. Right as I was born I was taken to the NICU where they performed a very thorough exam. I was a perfectly healthy baby girl other than one minor concern. I was born with a heart murmur which is a hole in the heart. More babies then you think are actually born with heart murmurs and often times close before the age of 5. Unfortunately mine did not close at the age of 5, doctors continued to closely monitor me over the years and when I was 8 years old they noticed my murmur was growing. This was concerning to my cardiologist that I have had since the day I was born Dr. Bass, so he decided to add me to a clinical trial he was conducting with another brilliant cardiologist.

I was the first person in the United States to receive the Amplatzer Occluder Device, which is a small mesh ring that they shot into my murmur through a catheter in the main vein in my thigh, while having a camera down my throat for a visual perception. This is a minimally invasive surgery and I woke up with a snoopy Band-Aid on my leg. After being in the hospital for a few days for monitoring I was cleared to go home with continued follow ups for the trial. For the next 2 years life was good. My murmur had been closed and I was a happy, seemingly healthy little girl.

The summer of 2005 rolls around and I was always with my best friend Allison. Little did Allison and I know she would be saving my life 3 times that summer. The first time she saved my life I will never forget. We were running around playing having a great time one second and the next second neither of us saw coming. I suddenly dropped to the ground and I was out cold. Allison ran over and began shaking me yelling my name telling me to wake up. She began to panic as I was not responding and she had her sister run to get their mother. By the time her sister got back with help I was awake and confused about what happened. We called my mother and she came and got me and we went home, thinking it was merely heat exhaustion from running outside all day in the hot summer sun.  A few weeks later it happened again, with Allison by my side again reacting the same way as last time, vigorously shaking me, trying to wake me up. This time my mother was concerned and brought me to the hospital. They decided to place me on a 72 hour Holter monitor. This Holter monitor was supposed to monitor my heart rate constantly so they could get an idea of what is happening when I pass out. The 3rd time I passed out, I again was with Allison. She again shook me until I woke up and we called in my Holter monitor readings over the phone. The nurse on the other end was perplexed by my readings and said “The monitor must be broken, it says you’re flat lining. But you’re still alive”. Little did they know I was in fact flat lining when I was passing out, meaning my heart was stopping for about 30-45 seconds at a time.

My cardiologist Dr. Bass told me if it weren’t for Allison stimulating my response system by shaking me and yelling my name I very well may have never woke up. They determined that I had developed Third Degree Complete Heart Block, in simple terms this means my heart chambers were no longer communicating to each other for my heart to beat properly on its own. This was due to my body over scaring my Amplatzer Occluder Device in place, causing a blockage in my ventricle. They then placed a Pacemaker that I am now 100% dependent on. My Doctors are fairly certain I would not have a heart beat if my Pacemaker were to shut off, but do not want to take the risk of finding out.

Working at Premier Disability Services, LLC I can empathize with clients and truly understand the struggles clients deal with on a day to day basis.